Do you live with someone who is constantly saying negative things about themselves or has low self-esteem – perhaps that person is you?
Grab some post-it notes and try this simple but effective activity. It’s time to work on that inner critic.
I coach many young people who feel that their self-image is something they would like to improve and that these thoughts often hold them back. They talk extremely negative about what they look like. I often hear boys and girls say, ‘I’m fat, my hair looks awful, I don’t look as good as my friends, my skin isn’t as clear as people on the TV/online’.
Over the last year and during the lockdown of 2020/21, many children and young people I worked with expressed how attending their online sessions made them feel awful as they were constantly comparing themselves with others on the screen. This was extremely sad to hear.
We know that social media has its part to play and I hear time and time again how stressful scrolling through pages of others ‘perfect life’ or a ‘perfect body’ can be. It impacts the way children go on to develop limiting beliefs. If unchecked at a young age, it can take us into adulthood with an internal voice that can be described as a ‘saboteur’. It could have an effect on who they do, or do not become.
Reframing self-talk is a great place to start. Having affirming phrases and practising speaking kindly to ourselves regularly will start to disrupt the pattern that may have been set as ‘truth’.
Create positive examples on the post-it notes to express what they would like to say about themselves and say them out loud often. You may need to help them to do this as they may find it hard to find the words – what do you see in them, what would their friends say or what would they say about others are good questions to ask.
Encourage this daily to promote positive self-talk, perhaps have them near their laptop them when they go online or around their mirror in their room. At a subconscious level, these words will start to help them to identify qualities within them, the truth of their beauty and encourage a positive perception of themselves.
Adults, this works well for us as well. Be your inner critic’s friend’s and tell yourself you look great daily.
Because you do!
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